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Classical 101

Columbus' Spring Performing Arts Calendar

BalletMet at the Ohio Theatre

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful," Mae West once said.

Can one city have too many performances of symphony, opera, ballet, theater and chamber music?

Absolutely not.

April has always been a busy month for the local arts calendar, but this month may be record-setting in the variety, quantity and sheer quality of local offerings. And it's just the beginning of what's to come this spring.

This past weekend, Chamber Music Columbus presented violist Hsin-Yun Huang in a matinee at the Southern Theater. The gifted kids of Chamber Music Connection performed at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington.

The Columbus Symphony played Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances and Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber at the Ohio Theater. The latter was as raucous and delightful a piece as I've heard in a while, belying its complicated title.

On the same program, violinist Gil Shaham joined the Columbus Symphony for Prokofiev's second violin concerto. Want an audio definition of dazzling? Don't miss the Classical 101 broadcast of this Columbus Symphony performance at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 28.

I'm just getting warmed up.

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra has a dynamite young conductor, David Danzmayr. Dynamite and wonderful were ProMusica's performances of Schubert's Symphony 10 and new music by Lera Auerbach at the Southern Theatre. ProMusica is always bringing us music we've either never heard before or haven't heard enough.

All of the above were just this past weekend.

Here's a look at what's ahead. Ready your calendar.

Now through May 7
Local playwright Herb Brown wrote Henry Ford's Model E. The father-son dynamic is seldom easy, and that rings true for Henry and Edsel Ford. Directed by Steve Andersonthe Catco performances are at the Riffe Center.

April 28-30
Edwaard Liang created this new production of Prokofiev'sRomeo and JulietIf you haven't seen BalletMet, you haven't seen beauty. What story is more romantic and what music more exciting and poignant than those of Romeo and Juliet? The Columbus Symphony joins BalletMet for performances at the Ohio Theatre.

April 28-May 10
Evolution Theatre presents Terrence McNally's moving and controversial play Corpus ChristiJesus and the 12 apostles live in the 21st century. Joe Bishara directs.

April 29
The New Albany Symphony Orchestra's next sensory-friendly concert is at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29. These concerts are perfect for kids on the autism spectrum or anyone seeking a more casual audience environment. House lights will be on but dimmed, and "chill-out" zones, complete with live-streaming monitors, will be available in the lobby for those taking a break. Sign-language interpreters will be on hand, and all NASO ushers and volunteers receive specific training to accommodate the audience. 

April 30
The New Albany Symphony Orchestra presents Power of the Sea at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 30. The water-themed program features music by Johann Strauss, Tan Dun's Concerto for Water and Percussion and more.

May 3-7 
Forget the operatic stereotypes! Opera Columbus brings a new interpretation to everyone's favorite opera, Georges Bizet's Carmen. I doubt you'll see a rose in anyone's teeth in this show at the Southern Theatre. This new production, featuring the Columbus Symphony and BalletMet 2, is directed by Crystal Manich and conducted by Kathleen Kelly. Avery Amereau sings the title role.

May 12-13 
The Columbus Symphony presents East Meet West Festival, conducted by Rossen Milanov, at the Ohio Theatre. The program includes two orchestral extravaganzas: Bela Bartok's The Miraculous Mandarin and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade (based on The Arabian Nights)Plus, hear a work new to Columbus, The Grand Canal by Chinese composer Tian Zhou.

May 21 
Columbus' much-loved dancer-choreographer Jimmy Orrante assembles an exciting artistic team for Dancing for the Cure, a benefit in support of pediatric hemophilia research. Great music and dance are brought together to help kids, 5 p.m. at the Riffe Center.

Is this an exhaustive list? Yes, for all the right reasons. A complete list? No. Keep listening, and keep checking back for more!

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.
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